by Mike Grossman (from a report filed by YANG YANG Badminton Equipment)

October 19, 1996 (New Shuttlenws) - Olympic gold medalist Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen of Denmark today failed in his third bid to win a badminton men's singles title after his victory in Atlanta in early August.

Hoyer-Larsen was upset in the semifinals of the Danish Open at Middlefart by Ong Ewe Hock of Malaysia.

Ong, who made a breakthrough earlier this year when he won the Malaysian Open, was in control of the opening game, taking it at 15-7 as Hoyer- Larsen played listlessly.

The Olympic champion got his game together in the second and turned the tables on the Malaysian 15-7.

In the third game, Ong took advantage of the Dane's mistakes and openings as Hoyer-Larsen played an uncharacteristically over-eager game. Ong won the decider 15-9.

Hoyer-Larsen's loss in the semifinals is the third tournament since the Olympic Games that the Danish gold medalist has played in and not won the championship. At the U.S. Open in early September, he lost to Joko Suprianto of Indonesia in the finals, and at the Dutch Open, he was beaten by Sun Jun of China in the championship match.

In the other men's singles semifinal, the reach and experience of the lanky Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen of Denmark was too much for his younger compatriot Peter Gade-Christensen. Stuer-Lauridsen beat Gade 5-15, 15-6 and 17-14 to qualify for his first major tournament final since suffering a serious ankle injury in May of 1995 at the world championships.

In women's singles, the rising Chinese player Gong Zhichao easily booked her place in her second major tournament finals in a row when she demolished Christine Gandrup of Sweden 11-1 and 11-3.

At the Russian Open in Moscow last week, Gong also made it into the finals when she upset her topseeded countrywoman Yao Yan.

Gong will face Marina Andrievskaya of Sweden in the women's singles finals tomorrow. In her half of the semifinals, Andrievskaya, a transplanted Russian, came back from losing the first game to beat Mette Pedersen of Denmark 3-11, 12-10 and 11-8.

Copyright (c) 1996 by NEW SHUTTLENWS
(e-mail: n.shuttlews@genie.com)